Writing Excuses Transcripts
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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Writing Excuses Transcripts" journal:
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Writing Excuses 8.49: Hard Social Science Fiction with Joel Shepherd|
Writing Excuses 8.49: Hard Social Science Fiction with Joel Shepherd
Key Points: Look at the social and human implications. Motivations are complicated. Look at beliefs, abstractions, things outside of the character. Model your fiction on real history. Look for the drama. Tell us about process, not conclusions. The model, the prism, the way you look at things may make you arrive at very different conclusions.
( more words than anythingCollapse )
[Brandon] Excellent. Well. This has been a wonderful podcast. It's time for a writing prompt. I am going to suggest that what you should do is you should pick two people on the same side of a conflict of some sort. But make their view of that conflict different. Not two opposing people. People on the same side. To force you to stretch a little bit further, to have more dynamic, more sides to your conflict, have two people striving for the same thing with a completely different view of why they're struggling for it. All right. Thank you so much, Joel. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
[Joel] Thank you very much.
Current Mood: fleabites
Writing Excuses 8.48: Long-Form Storytelling with Sam Logan|
Writing Excuses 8.48: Long-Form Storytelling with Sam Logan
( More to tell...Collapse )
[Brandon] All right. We need a writing prompt. Do either of you have something off the top of your head you could suggest to our listeners to get them jogged into writing for this week?
[Sam] I don't know. I can give it a shot. Like for me, I can't write unless I am... I mean, it's not literal writing, but like conceptual writing. I can't do it unless I get out of my house and completely separate myself by going for a walk. That is how I've written the script for every Sam and Fuzzy for like over a decade. It's just because as soon as I sit down somewhere there is a device in front of me that I can be doing instead of that. When you're outside and you're on your feet, you're moving, there's nothing to do but just think about the plot.
[Brandon] Okay. So go for a walk. Great writing prompt. Thank you, Sam. Thank you, audience at GenCon, by the way. I haven't thanked you in a while. Yes, you can scream. Howard's not here.
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Current Mood: unfocused
Writing Excuses 8.47: Roguishness with Scott Lynch|
Writing Excuses 8.47: Roguishness with Scott Lynch
Key points: Sympathetic roguish characters are usually very charming. We like transgressive performance -- strong warriors, fast fighters, amazing magicians, and social transgression, too. Boundary and rule breaking can be attractive! Charming rogues and antiheroes are closely related. Part of the appeal is getting away with stuff we wish we could try. How do we do this? Time compression! Charming, witty, exactly right can take months of writing for just a minute of action or dialogue. Go back and punch it up -- you don't have to do it all in one afternoon. Awful is in the eye of the reader, and what the author intends may not have the expected effect. Often antiheroes are seen as good in comparison to the people they are going up against, who are worse. Have a foil hang a lantern on the behavior.
( Nothing up my sleeves...Collapse )
[Brandon] All right. Let's... We're out of time. This has been a wonderful podcast. I'm actually... I'm very sad we're out of time. But we do need to wrap it up. Let's go ahead and do a writing prompt. I think Scott... Let's be roguish and give us a writing prompt.
[Scott] I have to... Okay, a writing prompt. Well, for research purposes, locate your nearest bank...
[Howard] Oh, my gosh.
[Howard] Stop! Stop him! [We need some?] People who are bigger than Scott Lynch.
[Scott] Okay. For legal purposes, I can't say that. You know what would be interesting, if you went to the closest bank and attempted to withdraw $20,000 by means... Okay, I can't do that. I will give you one directly relevant from my day. Complicate a scene or story by adding an unexpected injury or illness that completely flips the protagonist's perspective on what they're doing.
[Brandon] Very nicely done. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Current Mood: Crinkly
Writing Excuses 8.46: Editing with Aeryn Rudel|
Writing Excuses 8.46: Editing with Aeryn Rudel
Key points: If you want to write game fiction in a specific setting like the Iron Kingdoms, get to know those worlds intimately. Make sure the tone matches the reader's expectations -- a reader looking for adventure fiction doesn't care how beautiful the prose styling is, they want something to explode! "When you're working in someone else's setting, be willing to change." Readers know something's wrong, they tell you symptoms. Editors know what's wrong, they can diagnose it. Then the writer just has to fix it. How do you cultivate nurturing without a heavy hand? Reading and empathy.
( When the war machines come rolling in...Collapse )
[Brandon] All right. I'm going to go ahead and give a writing prompt this time. The writing prompt is "Hell's copyeditor." Think about that, take it however you want. We want to thank Aeryn so much for being on the podcast with us. Thank you, audience at GenCon.
[Brandon] Thank you, Pat Rothfuss, next door for having a party. All the screaming you hear distantly is from his party, which is apparently very much fun. Thank you guys for listening. You're out of excuses. Now go write. All right.
Current Mood: Drowning
Writing Excuses 8.45: GenCon Q&A with Wesley Chu|
Writing Excuses 8.45: GenCon Q&A with Wesley Chu
Q. How do you write first-person POV from another or different gender?
A. The same way you write anyone who is not you -- what is important to them, what do they want, how does their past affect how they view things. Do your homework. Practice writing the other. Know the stereotypes. Pay attention to what's different and interesting.
Q. Do you have a set schedule for writing time?
A. I'm a night writer. Writing dates and productivity through peer pressure. Set deadlines. Find time, and write when you can.
Q. How do you expand scenes without adding characters?
A. Beware padding. Add complications, locations, subplots, but make sure they move the plot forward. Replace telling with showing -- unpack and get specific.
Q.How can prose be used to convey emotion without overtly stating feelings?
A. Use your point of view character. How do they look at something and interact with it? Clues to emotional state. Imply emotions. Deny yourself thought verbs.
( What was your question?Collapse )
[Howard] Now you have the writing prompt, which is deny yourself thought verbs and communicate thought awareness on the part of the character in other ways. This has been Writing Excuses. You are out of excuses. Now go write.
Current Mood: snarky
Writing Excuses 8.44: Talking Publishing with Tom Doherty|
Writing Excuses 8.44: Talking Publishing with Tom Doherty
Key points: A publisher sets the direction for the editors to look. Editors are hired based on how their previous work fits the direction. Advice for new writers: Write from your heart, what you care about. Try to find an editor that your book will appeal to. To become an editor, plan on apprenticeship. Ebooks are wonderful, but we have lost the retail space, the impulse situations that used to be a launching point for new authors and that built readers. Where will readers browse and buy on impulse? Don't get caught by trends, write what you love, not what's popular.
( Here we go again!Collapse )
[Howard] We need a writing prompt.
[Brandon] We need a writing prompt. We do. Oh, dear. Tom, would you be capable of telling the listeners what they should write if they need a writing prompt?
[Tom] I thought I just did.
[Mary] All right. I can make a writing prompt for you out of that. Write a story about a publisher trying to predict the next trend, and the piece of technology he's using to try and predict it.
[Brandon] Oh, that's awesome. Okay. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Current Mood: transient
Writing Excuses 8.43: Realistic Melee Fighting with Wesley Chu|
Writing Excuses 8.43: Realistic Melee Fighting with Wesley Chu
Key points: Real martial arts training takes a long time. Also, weapons weigh a lot! When characters get injured, deal with the injuries. Balance showy fighting with realism. Focus on what the fight means, not the step-by-step actions. How does the character feel? What reaction do you want to elicit from the reader?
( High-kick! Low-kick. Spin!Collapse )
[Brandon] All right. Let's bring it out with a writing prompt.
[Wesley] Good. We're going to do a fantasy this time. I want you to write a scene in any world where a pirate can beat a ninja.
[Brandon] All right.
[Audience] Does it have to be a ninja?
[Brandon] It has to be a ninja. He just said.
[Wesley] If you ever get a chance, look at The Deadliest Warrior. They actually have a pirate beating a ninja, and it pisses me off. I'd like to just... Gah!
[Brandon] This is Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
Current Mood: chilly
Writing Excuses 8.42: The Internal Heckler vs. The Internal Editor|
Writing Excuses 8.42: The Internal Heckler vs. The Internal Editor
Key Points: Recognize the difference between the internal heckler (This is bad!) and the internal editor (You can make this better). Don't forget the internal cheerleader! When something goes wrong, see if you can figure out how to improve it. Asking "Why?" often helps identify how to improve it. To get from "something's wrong" to "here's how to fix it," takes practice. Learn to identify the problem, understand what needs fixing, and how to fix it. Symptoms, diagnoses, and prescriptions! In many cases, keep writing. Control your internal editor, don't just turn it off. To quiet the heckler, look at what you've already done, remind yourself of why you are excited about this, and go on. Get a cheerleader!
( Into the world of the ego, id, and superego...Collapse )
[No writing prompt? Luckily, Howard included one on the website. While it was not actually part of the podcast, I'm including it here for anyone who is interested:
Writing Prompt: Oh no! we forgot to give you a writing prompt! Fine… Your internal heckler turns out to be a real person/entity/being/whatever. Not everybody’s internal heckler — YOURS. Why?
Now you really are out of excuses, go write.]
Current Mood: introverted
Writing Excuses 8.41: Out of Excuses Retreat Microcasting|
Writing Excuses 8.41: Out of Excuses Retreat Microcasting
1. How do you find beta readers? On my website. Personal acquaintances.
2. Should you protect copyright before submitting? When you create it, it is copyrighted. You do not need to register.
3. Advice for a discovery writer who has trouble figuring out where their story is going? Jot down any scenes you do know, then move them around and fill in the holes. Write down all the cool stuff you can think of -- what does this character, technology, or conflict create that you want to see. What is the worst thing that could happen? What is the best thing that could happen? Write, keep going, and then fix it in revision.
4. What is the best way to pay my favorite authors? Buy our books. Buy hardbacks. Pick the format that you like, then loan it to someone else. Say something nice about the book. Buy on the opening day.
5. Can chapters be too short? This is a stylistic choice. How fast do you want to jump viewpoints?
6. How much time do you spend reading? Mostly in airplanes. While eating.
( Little tiny casts, all lined up and waiting...Collapse )
[Brandon] Okay. Let's go ahead and do a writing prompt. Mary, you actually have the writing prompt this time?
[Mary] Yes. For you, I just have three words, and I want you to figure out how this becomes a story. Neon sniper gnome.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Current Mood: sleepy
Writing Excuses 8.40: Publishing with Bill Schafer|
Writing Excuses 8.40: Publishing with Bill Schafer
( And from the press, we hear...Collapse )
[Brandon] We're going to end with a writing prompt. Dan?
[Dan] Oh, man.
[Brandon] You haven't talked the whole time.
[Dan] I know. It's because I've been listening raptly. This has been fascinating.
[Bill] He's been snoring.
[Dan] I have been... Was it audible? Dang it. Okay. Writing prompt.
[Mary] Your main character is a small press publisher...
[Dan] Thank you.
[Mary] And his store has been flooded.
[Dan] But not by a liquid.
[Bill] Unsold stock!
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Current Mood: slower
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